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George Mraz

A native of the Czech Republic, George Mraz was born in 1944. He began his musical studies on violin at age seven and started playing jazz in high school. He attended the Prague Conservatory in 1961 studying bass violin and graduating in 1966.

While studying at the Prague Conservatory Mraz was deeply moved by the Voice Of America radio broadcasts of Willis Conover, who was his connection to a vast new world of possibilities across the ocean. "The first jazz I ever heard was actually Louis Armstrong when I was about twelve years old. They had an hour of his music on one Sunday in between all these light operettas and stuff they played on the radio in the Czech republic (then Czechoslovakia). Then the strange voice of Satchmo singing was quite a shock. 'How can he get away with a voice like that?' I thought. But by the time the hour was over I decided I liked it better than anything I heard that day, so I started looking into jazz”.

"The Voice Of America came on midnight for an hour or so, and my listening equipment wasn't so great, and it was hard to make out the bass. So I was listening to all the instruments, and how it all worked together, rather than just focusing on the bass. I've really been influenced by everything I've heard, but of course I paid special attention to Ray Brown, Scott LaFaro, Paul Chambers, and Ron Carter." Mraz just naturally gravitated towards the music, and became a seasoned veteran of the clubs where he could perform the music that consumed his imagination almost every night. While studying at the Prague Conservatory, George was performing with the top jazz groups in Prague.

After graduating from the Prague Conservatory, George went to Munich and played clubs and concerts throughout Germany and Middle Europe with Benny Bailey, Carmel Jones, Leo Wright, Mal Waldron, Hampton Hawes, Jan Hammer and others. In 1968 George Mraz came to Boston on a scholarship to the Berklee School of Music and played at Lennie's on the Turnpike and the Jazz Workshop with such artists as Clark Terry, Herbie Hancock, Joe Williams and Carmen McRae.In the winter of 1969 George got a call from Dizzy Gillespie to join his group in New York. After a few weeks with Dizzy, George went on the road with Oscar Peterson for about two years. After that he worked with the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra for the next six years. In the late seventies George worked with Stan Getz, New York Jazz Quartet, Zoot Sims, Bill Evans, John Abercrombie and for over ten years with Tommy Flanagan.

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Liner Notes

John Abercrombie: The First Quartet

Read "John Abercrombie: The First Quartet" reviewed by John Kelman

With the release of Arcade (1979), Abercrombie Quartet (1980) and M (1981), John Abercrombie's entire ECM discography as a leader is finally available on CD. Looking back at these albums and their position in his oeuvre, they are revealed as seminal documents of Abercrombie's arrival as a distinctive writer, improvising guitarist and bandleader, delivering on the promise of his first two ECM recordings under his own name, Timeless (1975) and Characters (1977). Abercrombie's subsequent career has, in many ways, been ...

Album Review

John Abercrombie: The First Quartet

Read "The First Quartet" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

In many ways guitarist John Abercrombie's recordings with his first quartet represent his real coming of age, as a jazz guitarist, composer, and bandleader. He already had a substantial ECM discography behind him, including his fusion debut Timeless (1975); the overdubbed solo record Characters (1977); the first trio with Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette, the self-titled Gateway (1975); and his first duet record with acoustic guitarist Ralph Towner, Sargasso Sea (1976). But many of these recordings (and others ...

Album Review

John Abercrombie: The First Quartet

Read "The First Quartet" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

In his more than thirty year career--almost exclusively with ECM--guitarist John Abercrombie has more often than not confined his formation to smaller groups ranging from solo through quartet. He has been less restricted in the style of music he creates and that diversity is demonstrated with mixed results on The First Quartet. The albums included in the three-disc set are remastered from original ECM analog recordings of Arcade (1979), Abercrombie Quartet (1979) and M (1981). All but unavailable in CD ...

Album Review

Yelena Eckemoff: A Touch of Radiance

Read "A Touch of Radiance" reviewed by Tyran Grillo

It's fulfilling to hear an artist evolve. In this regard, Yelena Eckemoff has heeded callings definable only by the language of the spirit. The Russian-born pianist and composer comes from a rigorous classical background, and within those parameters has shaped a quiet yet assured corpus of jazz albums stretching back to 2006's The Call. Since then she has assembled numerous ad hoc bands, caressing ebonies and ivories alongside Arild Andersen, Marilyn Mazur, Peter Erskine, and many other established names in ...

Album Review

Yelena Eckemoff: A Touch of Radiance

Read "A Touch of Radiance" reviewed by Greg Simmons

Trained in an intensive ten-year classical piano program at Moscow's Gnessins School, and after quietly making records for over two decades, Russian native Yelena Eckemoff has been transitioning to a form of hybrid, classically informed improvisation with some exceptional results. 2010's Cold Sun, a trio featuring the exquisite drumming of Peter Erskine, was a tremendous musical statement for a leader making an early foray into improvisation and a record that is well worth seeking out to this day.

Album Review

The Jan Hammer Trio: Maliny Maliny

Read "Maliny Maliny" reviewed by John Kelman

Sometimes plenty can happen in three years; sometimes plenty can happen in a matter of days. When Jan Hammer recorded Maliny Maliny at a club in Munich on August 30, 1968, the keyboardist had no idea that, in three short years he'd be at the top of the jazz heap as founding member of one of fusion's most significant groups, guitarist John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. He did know, within 30 days of this live recording--when the young Czechoslovakian moved to ...

Album Review

George Mraz / Iva Bittova: Moravian Gems

Read "Moravian Gems" reviewed by Kurt Gottschalk

Over some twenty years of recording, the Czech violinist and singer Iva Bittova has done folk, classical and new music, recording with guitarist Fred Frith among others. What she hadn't done, by her own admission, was venture into jazz. That changed when she began working with her countryman, bassist George Mraz. Mraz worked with both the Stan Getz quartet and Czech pianist Emil Viklicky in the 1970s, and has continued to be a sought-after player in the ...

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Performance / Tour

George Mraz Comeback Concert! May 20 - NYC - Free!

George Mraz Comeback Concert!  May 20 - NYC - Free!

Source: Scott Thompson Public Relations

Featuring George Mraz & Camilla Mraz Trio with Anthony Pinciotti Saturday, May 20, 2017 7:30 to 9:00 PM FREE! Bohemian National Hall Historic Grand Ballroom 321 East 73rd Street (between 1st & 2nd Avenue) New York, NY 10021 The Bohemian Benevolent & Literary Association and GEORGE MRAZ MUSIC LLC are thrilled to present a celebratory night of free live music. Join us in NYC ...


Performance / Tour

George Mraz/Camilla Mraz Trio On September 12 At Jazz At Kitano! One Night Only!

George Mraz/Camilla Mraz Trio On September 12 At Jazz At Kitano!  One Night Only!

Source: Scott Thompson Public Relations

JAZZ AT KITANO: September 12, 8pm & 10pm The George Mraz/Camilla Mraz Trio George Mraz - bass Camilla Mraz - piano Anthony Pinciotti - drums Jazz at Kitano 66 Park Ave. at E. 38th St. New York, NY 10016 Cover: $30 plus $20 minimum on food/beverage. Reservations recommended. ...bassist for Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Stan Getz, Tommy Flanagan, Joe Henderson and many more. Forceful and evocative, ...


Performance / Tour

Dvorak American Heritage Association Presents: An Evening of Jazz with George Mraz & Friends at the Bohemian National Hall Friday, February 26th at 7:30 PM

Dvorak American Heritage Association Presents: An Evening of Jazz with George Mraz & Friends at the Bohemian National Hall Friday, February 26th at 7:30 PM

Source: Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services

DVORAK AMERICAN HERITAGE ASSOCIATION (DAHA) Presents: An Evening of Jazz with George Mraz & Friends at The Bohemian National Hall 321 East 73rd Street, NYC Friday, February 26th at 7:30 PM World-renowned jazz bassist George Mraz was presented The Medal of the President of The Czech Republic for Lifetime Achievement on his 65th birthday, June 10, 2009 at the Prague Castle. Known for his historic work with jazz icons Stan ...

Sal La Rocca
bass, acoustic
Adam Armstrong
bass, acoustic
Dominik Schürmann
bass, acoustic



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

The First Quartet

ECM Records


A Touch of Radiance

Self Produced


Maliny Maliny

Promising Music/MPS


Moravian Gems



Moravian Gems





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